Fall 2013

Fall 2013

Saturday, August 29, 2009

A little late

I meant to get a combination Thankful Thursday/Fabulous Friend Friday posted one of those days, but I'm late so here it is. After my first year of college, I decided to take a year off and moved to New York to work as a nanny. The first friend I made there was another nanny from Utah, Josette. My best friend Kari came to New York also and the 3 of us hung out together frequently. Josette and I kept in touch for a while after we both left New York, but over the years we had lost contact. I last saw her very briefly as I was passing through Salt Lake City on a trip to California in 2004. Well, my phone rang last weekend and it was Josette asking if we could get together while she was here in Minnesota!! I immediately called Kari (who had also lost touch with Josette) and we arranged to meet for dinner on Thursday evening. Here's a picture of the 3 of us. Wish I had a then/now comparison... well, wait - maybe I don't! LOL! Anyway... getting together with old friends is always a special gift and something to be thankful for!

Friday, August 28, 2009

Getting set for the fly-in

I took a day off work to get set for the fly-in. If you don't know what that is, it is a get together for people who fly planes and ultralight planes. We have this every year on the last Sunday of August. On a good year we get about 80 airplanes and over 500 people to show up. I do a lot of work to get set for this. It is at Wanamingo MN on a private airpark. Click here if you want to see it.

Thankful Thursday

I know this is a day late, but here it is. I am thankful for Melanie and that she only has 8 months of school left. I miss the time we had been able to spend together. Now her time is spent at work or school related things (studying or doing clinicals at Fairmont ) I am not complaining, this will make our lives better, but for now I miss the time we use to have together.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Please pray!

As you may know, I follow a wonderful blog - A Place Called Simplicity. Linny and Dwight are in the process of bringing their daughter Jubilee home from China and have hit a road block. Please click here to read Linny's message asking for your prayers. Thanks in advance!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Reference Interviews Completed! (and a brief musing)

Just time for a quick note this evening. Part of our home study includes Becky meeting with the friends that we have listed as references. She finished the final reference check today. I just want to say thank you to Denise and Guy, Jeanne and Ken, and Brad for being willing to vouch for us (hopefully, we paid you well enough.. oh, yeah, I forgot that we didn't pay you anything - lol!, well, we will have to figure something out).

We have started the education piece of the process now, receiving information about adoption, education modules, we have homework assignments - watching some videos that talk about issues that adopted children often deal with. It's interesting and eye-opening. I'm glad that this is part of the requirement to adopt.

One of the videos we watched was interviews with young adults who were adopted. One of them talked about how she always felt like she was her parents' second choice (first choice would have been a biological child). Her parents didn't act that way, but she "felt" like that was the case. That really touched my heart. Mark and I talked about how we might approach this situation and here's what we came up with. Our first choice is to have a child. Biological vs adopted - doesn't matter. We want to have the child/children that God intended for us to have. There is no second choice with Him. The child He brings to our family will be the FIRST choice, loved and nurtured, perhaps treasured (not spoiled rotten!) even more because we know that he or she was chosen by God Himself. I hope and pray that our child is able to trust and believe that in their heart.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Thankful Thursday

Since I have been such a "slacker" this last couple weeks, figured I better get something posted for Thankful Thursday this week - don't want to give anyone the impression that I have nothing to be thankful for - lol!

#1 - Long phone conversations with old friends (no, I am NOT insinuating that my friends are old, just that my friendship with each of them is long standing)- This week, I was able to catch up with 2 very special friends that I haven't talked to in a while - Kari and Lynn. I've mentioned Kari before on Fabulous Friend Friday, she and I have known each other for almost 30 years. Lynn and I met over 20 years ago in New York - over that time, we have developed a deep bond and lasting friendship. Time passes so quickly when I am visiting with them. We can gab for hours and it feels like minutes. Catching up on each other's lives was a special gift to me this week!

#2 - Our home - One of these days, I will have to post some pictures of our house. Mark lost his house in a garage fire and was in the process of rebuilding when we met. So, I was able to move into a new home. It's a small comfortable house, we have a wonderful family room as well as a master bedroom with great walk-in closet (which will hopefully find a crib and changing table in it one of these days). I think one of the best things about our place is how comforting and relaxing it is to come home to at the end of the day.

#3 - Precious children waiting for adoption - And of course, those who make adoption possible. Mark and I are looking forward to finding the child that is waiting for us. God knows where our child is and I trust that He will show us when His timing is right. Recently, my friend Sarah posted a link on her blog to a story of God's wonderful faithfulness and a family who is returning that faithfulness to Him by "passing it forward." Click here to read more, I hope that you will be as touched by it as I was.

What are you thankful for today?

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

I know... it's time for an update

I have not been good about blogging lately. I had thought that things were about to quiet down a little bit after getting home from Birmingham, but life just doesn't seem to work out that way. I will try to get back on track now, though.

I finished up summer classes the first week of August and it was a relief to have finals out of the way before heading to Canada. We stopped at our cabin along the way to welcome my friend Jo, her hubby Tony, and son Zach who used that as their home base for a north shore vacation. Then, on to Sioux Narrows, Ontario. Below is a picture Mark's parents' summer home on Lake of the Woods where we spent 4 relaxing days.

Mark's dad took us out fishing several times. Although I really enjoy fishing, I admit I am a wimp when it comes to the process. Mark is nice enough to bait my hook and take my fish off the hook for me. We were able to bring home our limit of walleye, 1 Northern, and 1 Lake Trout.

Thanks Mert and Joanne for a nice vacation! We enjoyed spending time with you.

Last Friday, our social worker Becky came for our "home visit" - see the neighborhood, our house, yard, etc. It sounds like lots of people get very nervous about this, but it wasn't stressful for us. We feel comfortable with Becky and understand the rationale for this part of our home study. One step closer to completion - yay! We now start the education piece of the process, learning more about adoption and related issues.

On Saturday, Mark went 4-wheeling with friends Tim, Brad, and Brad's son Cody - they had a great time, although Mark's cell phone ended up at the bottom of a mud puddle (I use that term lightly - bog is probably more appropriate). Betsy (Mark's sister), Tim, Gavin (Betsy's son), and John (Tim's son) spent Saturday night with us before leaving for Indiana Sunday morning. While they are gone, we are dog-sitting for Regis a.k.a. Dryfus. Meechie doesn't mind one bit, Vivien is not quite as tolerant. Luckily, Regis is a very laid back dog!

Sunday afternoon, we enjoyed a visit with Sabrina and Guillaime (who are visiting from France) and my parents. They first met Sabrina quite a few years ago when she was here as a chaperone for students spending a month here in the US. She and my mom have been great friends since that first visit and Sabrina has travelled here on vacation several times. I will try to get their picture downloaded in the next couple days. Mark and Guillaime share an interest in ultralight planes so they enjoyed talking about flight stuff.

I've had a break from clinicals with everything that's been going on, but was back in Fairmont yesterday and today. I was feeling a little "rusty" but it's good to be learning and doing again. This morning, the daughter of one of the patients gave me a sweet compliment, that I will make a "great nurse practitioner." Hearing feedback like that makes it a little bit easier to keep going on the days when I really just want to be a "normal" person again and not feel like I am running in 20 different directions. I enjoy the patients and know that as I continue to develop my skills, I can make a difference in people's lives. That is important to me. Classes resumed today so I am off and running again. Graduation is only 262 days away (not that I am counting - lol)!
Our hopes for adopting are never far from my mind and there are a couple of my random musings that I hope to share here in the near future. So, stay tuned - more to come!

Monday, August 17, 2009

we had a good weekend, starting on Friday we had a meeting with Becky (Catholic charities) at our house. things went well there and we have a few more meetings left.
Saturday I went 4-wheeling with Brad Strain, his son and Tim (my sisters boyfriend) I lost my cell phone in a big mud hole along with a lot of phone numbers.
Sunday we went to see the Roth family (Melanie's mom & dad) and their guests from France.

well I am on my way to get a new phone


Friday, August 14, 2009

Well we missed thankful Thursday for the second week. We went on vacation to Canada and didn't want people to know we were not at home, so here is thankful Thursday for this week (on Friday). I am thankful that we get along with my parents well enough to spend a week at my parents cabin with them. It is a small island on lake of the woods on the Canada side. Fishing was OK and we brought home 8 walleye, one lake trout and a crappie that was caught by my nephew Gavin


Friday, August 7, 2009

Missed It!

I missed Thankful Thursday yesterday. There was a lot going on and I wasn't feeling up to much of anything. Even though I didn't post, Mark and I are thankful for so many things everyday.

We had the opportunity to spend a few hours with Mark's grandma this afternoon and wish her HAPPY 98th BIRTHDAY!! It is always fun to visit and enjoy her stories.

Finished finals on Tuesday so I'm looking forward to a short break before starting fall semester on the 17th.

Have a great weekend everyone!

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

The Wait

Yesterday as I was getting ready for our meeting with Becky (social worker), I came across an article in our folder about the importance of maintaining hope while waiting. I glanced at it briefly and thought "yes, it's good to stay positive." When we left Becky's office, I could feel a little bit of discouragement coming on - nothing major, but the reality is that there are 25 other families who are waiting and hoping for a new addition to their family - just as much as we are. Right now, there aren't any new birth moms on the horizon. A couple of months ago, I felt like God was giving me a specific time frame to be planning for - now I'm less certain of that. It would be easy to feel discouraged.

Surprisingly enough, I'm not. As I have said before, God knows the big picture. What I think and want to happen might be very different from His plan for Mark and me. That makes it easier to wait. Today, I had finals for my summer classes. It occurred to me that in spite of the stress and chaos I have because of school, it really is a GOOD thing! I'm able to focus on the task at hand which is getting through each class, completing as many clinical hours as possible, and knowing that each day brings me closer to graduation. Although "finding" our child is on my mind, it does not occupy my every waking moment. I'm able to trust that when God's timing is right, we will become parents.

Isn't it great knowing that someone else is in charge??

Monday, August 3, 2009

Your thoughts?? Need some suggestions!!

Mark and I want our adoption profile/portfolio to provide a good picture of who we are - AND to be somewhat light-hearted. We've talked about a list similar to a certain late night tv host's "Top 10." It would be top reasons to choose us as adoptive parents for a child. At first we were going to come up with it ourselves. But, we've decided to ask for your insight and opinions. Hmmm - this could be a contest, couldn't it? Not sure what the prize might be...

Anyway, sometimes others see us differently than we see ourselves so I'm curious to hear why you think we would be good adoptive parents. Those of you who are out there reading our blog - surprise me!! If you aren't comfortable responding publicly - click on our email link above to share a private thought. After we get our list compiled, I will share it here with everyone.

Sunday, August 2, 2009


It's been a busy couple of days. I flew home from Birmingham on Friday morning. After a few delays in Detroit, I arrived in Rochester at about 3pm. Mark had the trailer loaded, we threw a few things in the car, and were on our way to the cabin by 4:30pm.

Mark spent most of the weekend mowing - as you can see by the picture below we had a veritable jungle in some areas. I am amazed how how quickly the trees and vegetation grow. When we bought the land 3 years ago, most of it had been cleared by bulldozer. We were able to ride our 4-wheelers on it. Now, regrowth is probably about 7 feet high, no riding the 4-wheelers through that forest! We try to keep the area around the cabin fairly clear, as you can see by the picture below (after Mark's mowing).

It was nice to get away even though it was a working weekend. A friend of mine and her family are planning to use the cabin next week as a base for their vacation so we were trying to get a couple things done before they arrive.

We had water in the RV holding tank and Mark got the water heater working so I actually got to take a hot shower - YAY!! That was wonderful!

Only bummer to coming home tonight was that I have a full week's worth of laundry to catch up on. Thank goodness for a large capacity washing machine.

Progress continues on our home study. We have to reschedule tomorrow morning's meeting with our social worker due to Mark's required DOT physical. More paperwork to complete and it is time to start working on our "Dear Birth Mom" letter and portfolio. The letter will be posted on our agency's website along with a picture of us. The portfolio is shared with birth parents who may be considering us to adopt their child. I've asked my mom to help with putting that together because of her experience in graphic arts and design. She will be much more creative than Mark or I could hope to be!!

Hope you all had a wonderful weekend.